Thursday, September 29, 2011

What to wear to a cocktail party

When we arrived, the Italian professor from the University of Bologna who had just lectured at Johns Hopkins insisted that Ada get a name tag. We wrote: "Ada Anderson - United States - Guest." And she wore it, and ate it, and spilled on it. It garnered quite a few smiles and laughs. She is a fantastic ice-breaker.

Mikey and I attended our very first cocktail party last night. Consequently, Ada did too. Because that's the kind of classy parents we are. Unfortunately, Ada didn't anticipate needing her little black dress in Bologna, so she wore pink polka-dot stretch pants instead. I don't think anybody noticed she was under-dressed.

The party was a classy affair at the Bologna Center Director's beautiful penthouse suite in the heart of downtown. The view off his balcony is spectacular. You can see the towers that dot the city; the famous Due Torri are just a few steps up the street. His home is filled with amazing treasures picked up, no doubt, from years of travel. I want a home filled with treasures some day too.

I was grateful my father-in-law taught me what a teetotaler is, the summer we lived in DC. I used the term at the party and felt quite fancy while pouring myself a sparkling water instead.

By a quarter-to-nine Ada was getting tired. As we said our goodbyes to a few students, Mikey mentioned that she had had one to many drinks and we were going to call it a night. One student replied, "Yeah, I saw her trying to walk over there. She did look a bit tipsy."

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